Accepting migrant workers as urban residents key to China's urbanization: political advisors

12:29, March 06, 2011      

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China's urbanization drive can succeed only when migrant workers are accepted as city residents, China's political advisors said here Saturday.

"China's actual urbanization rate is far less than the 47.5 percent in the draft of China' s 12th Five-Year Plan," said Cai Jiming, head of Center for Political Economy, Tsinghua University.

"This is because about 150 million migrant workers were counted as urban residents in the statistics," said Cai, also a member of the the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).

People living in a Chinese city without urban Hukou, or household registration, have little access to education, social welfare and other rights that city residents enjoy.

China's actual urbanization rate will stand at around 35 percent after the number of migrant workers was deducted, said Wang Jianlin, chairman of leading developer Dalian Wanda Group and a member of the National Committee of CPPCC.

"The top priority of China's urbanization from 2011 to 2015 is to let migrant workers, who have steady jobs in cities, and their families to become urban residents. Then the urbanization rate can reach 45 percent or higher in the next five years," Cai said.

Wang Jianlin said China's large cities are not prepared for accepting migrant workers as urban residents. "Is it possible for Beijing to give migrant workers permanent residence? The city is trying to limit its population."

Cai said China's urbanization must focus on medium and small cities, particularly county seats and larger townships. "It is easier for migrant workers to stay in smaller cities, which in turn help to relieve the burden on large cities."

Source:Xinhua
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